Rights NGO: 194 Death Sentences in Egypt in 2015 First Quarter
|Wednesday, April 8,2015 04:17|
A specialized unit of the independent (non-government) Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms (EORF), monitoring violations of fair trial rights and procedures, issued a quarterly report on the violation of the principles of fair trials in cases heard by Egyptian courts against political detainees and opposition leaders in Egypt.
The EORF report said the first quarter of 2015 witnessed the following:
Courts dealt with 148 cases, as follows:
First instance verdicts: 129 cases
Appeal verdicts: 4 cases
Challenge verdicts: 7 cases
Re-trials: 3 cases
Military trials: 5 cases
Verdicts and Rulings:
2,381 people were convicted by Egyptian courts during the first quarter of 2015, and dealt sentences as follows:
Death sentences: 194 people
Jail terms: 1,081 people were sentenced to various prison terms, totaling 11,666 years
Life imprisonment: 312 people
Imprisonment at high security jails: 116 people
Rigorous imprisonment (hard labor): 63 people
Suspended jail terms: 6 people
Imprisonment with 'exemption from punishment': 2 people
Acquittals: 857 people
Fines only: 57 people
Sentences cancelled, re-trials ordered: 192 people
Financial sanctions issued during the first quarter of 2015:
Bail total: 1,776,000 Egyptian Pounds (US$ 233,000)
Fines total: 84,468,500 Egyptian Pounds (US$ 11,070,143)
EORF's report stated that the right to a fair trial in Egypt is one of the most trampled rights since the June 30 events (the military coup d'état), especially after the justice system became an additional tool of repression, used by the military coup regime in Egypt to give a veneer of legality to the crimes it committed by ferocious arbitrary arrests among the ranks of its opponents.
The report affirmed that the continued violation of Egyptian detainees' right to fair trials is disconcerting, especially after hundreds of death sentences and life imprisonment rulings have been issued in trials where procedures were – to say the least – totally unrelated to justice. Thousands of other trials confirmed beyond the shade of a doubt that there are detainees and victims of the system who have – in one way or another – been denied the right to a fair trial. Indeed, many of those were unjustly convicted due to the lack of even the minimum conditions for a fair trial.
The EORF report further confirmed that there can be no fair trials in Egypt unless two conditions are met:
First: commitment to conduct the trial, from beginning to end, according to the standards set out in international human rights instruments.
Second: independence of the judiciary so it becomes a truly independent and impartial authority. This was not the case in all trials since the June 30 events.